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Pennsylvania ADs Prepare For Unknown In HS Sports

June 11, 2020 / Athletic Administration
As coaches and athletic directors await word from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Department of Health as to how high school sports can resume offseason workouts for the upcoming season, most are preparing to be ready for anything.

The guidelines from the PIAA and the Department of Health are expected to be released this week, and, according to a story in The Sentinel, ADs are hoping for clarification on numerous issues.

“How much is on the school district and on the athletic directors [to set their own policies], and how much is this how we’re doing it from the PIAA and state standpoint,” Mechanicsburg High School athletic direct Seth Pehanich told the Sentinel.

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Photo: Courtesy of Xavier athletics

Pehanich is relying heavily on Sandy Zettlemoyer, the Wildcats’ athletic trainer, to make sure the department is following recommended health guidelines. That will continue when teams can resume offseason activities in the coming days or weeks — fall preseason practices begin Aug. 10, and football’s opening day is set for late August at this point.

While some await the answers, other ADs are trying to get a head start. Cedar Cliff High School athletic director John Kosydar has already started developing guidelines for his programs’ return to practice. According to The Sentinel, Cedar Cliff has put an emphasis on sanitization and cleaning protocols while providing information on what may or may not be permitted in terms of activities.

“We need to secure necessary items to help with providing a sanitized environment and any necessary health screening methods we might choose to incorporate [like temperature checks],” Kosydar said in an email to The Sentinel. “To help with this task we included the coaches in the conversation via a Google Sheet so they could add information specific to their sport and to get their thoughts on what activities they could safely do whether we allow smaller or larger numbers.”

» RELATED: Colorado, Pennsylvania Update Return To Sports Guidelines

Both ADs agreed that masks and social distancing will undoubtedly be part of the return-to-sports protocol, with Perhanich already mapping out how many student-athletes can fit on a bus six feet apart.

To read the full story from The Sentinel on how Pennsylvania athletic directors are preparing to re-open athletics, click here